Advertisement

Supernatural spirits? ‘Square waves?’ Aliens? Mystery lines on Haida Gwaii beach spark debate

Click to play video 'Strange photos of tidelines on beach in Skidegate is talk of town' Strange photos of tidelines on beach in Skidegate is talk of town
WATCH ABOVE: Images from Haida Gwaii of tidelines in a form of a gird are lighting up social media in the coastal community. Some speculate it's a natural phenomenon or even the work of aliens. But a University of Oregon beach processes expert says otherwise.

There’s a mystery brewing on Haida Gwaii, where photos of an unusual beach formation have locals scratching their heads.

“I’ve asked quite a few of the elders here if they had ever seen and none of them said they had ever seen it,” said Skidegate Chief Councillor Bill Yovanovich, who took the photos Saturday on Lina Island.


They show small bits of white shells arranged into what appears to be an intentional grid pattern that stretches at least a hundred metres along the beach.

Story continues below advertisement

“I had never seen anything on the beach like that before. You’ll see the horizontal tide lines, but never the vertical ones.”

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak on B.C.’s Haida Gwaii declared over

“It could possibly have been somebody collected those and made the formations … but it would be tedious and would take a long time, and it really looked like the tide had done it.”

Yovanovich posted the photos to his Facebook page and on a local Facebook group for First Nations food gathering, where they’ve attracted significant interest — and debate.

Some people suggested the shapes were caused by a rare oceanic phenomenon known as “square waves.”

Others were convinced the grid was man-made, while others have cast further afield for theories.

“Locally, here, our elders are thinking it might be the work of some of the supernatural beings. A lot of other people are jokingly saying it was aliens,” said Yovanovich.

Click to play video 'New B.C. radio telescope in South Okanagan picks up mysterious signal from space' New B.C. radio telescope in South Okanagan picks up mysterious signal from space
New B.C. radio telescope in South Okanagan picks up mysterious signal from space

Another suggestion was that the shapes reflected ancient clam beds at the site, but Yovanovich said the shell pieces were all on the surface of the sand, and didn’t appear to have been recently unearthed.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Mysterious signal from space: Is it alien or an unknown phenomenon?

Professor Robert Holman, an expert in beach processes and near-shore waves and currents at the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, told Global News it’s unlikely the shapes occurred naturally.

“I would say the chances are a little less than 0.00000 per cent,” said Holman.

“You can see that there have been several high tide lines since the lines were done (wrack lines in the near field at two elevations).”

Holman said his first thought was that the grid had been laid out to help with social distancing at the beach.

However, the remoteness of the location renders that explanation unlikely.